The Trenches | Definition of The Trenches by Merriam-Webster
When the latter's sword broke, the former threw away his own weapon; for it was not This is only a skirmish, let us meet each other again in full battle array. when Japanese soldiers had occupied a trench, they left behind them a sad or leave behind them some well-meaning memento for the next Japanese party that . Again dirt rains down upon me; after which I treat my whole body to a temporary rest But why should I, one place being as safe as another, not meaning that any place is safe. They let us show them the other side of the Marne. He really believes the Germans will suffer a sad surprise in meeting defeat at our resistance. Lyrics to 'Let Us Meet In The Trenches' by TRIORE: I won't raise my hand in anger; I won't speak no words of spite / The friends I had have parted; I stand barren.
Trench warfare prevailed on the Western Front from late until the Germans launched their Spring Offensive on 21 March After the buildup of forces inthe Western Front became a stalemated struggle between equals, to be decided by attrition. Frontal assaults, and their associated casualties, became inevitable because the continuous trench lines had no open flanks. Casualties of the defenders matched those of the attackers, as vast reserves were expended in costly counter-attacks or exposed to the attacker's massed artillery.
There were periods in which rigid trench warfare broke down, such as during the Battle of the Sommebut the lines never moved very far. The war would be won by the side that was able to commit the last reserves to the Western Front. They lacked traversesand according to pre-war doctrine were to be packed with men fighting shoulder to shoulder.
This doctrine led to heavy casualties from artillery fire. This vulnerability, and the length of the front to be defended, soon led to front line trenches being held by fewer men. The defenders augmented the trenches themselves with barbed wire strung in front to impede movement; wiring parties went out every night to repair and improve these forward defences.
They resisted both artillery bombardment and mass infantry assault. Shell-proof dugouts became a high priority.
After the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg line in Marchno man's land stretched to over a kilometre in places. On the Eastern Front and in the Middle East, the areas to be covered were so vast, and the distances from the factories supplying shells, bullets, concrete and barbed wire so great, trench warfare in the West European style often did not occur.
The Ortler had an artillery position on its summit near the front line. The trench-line management and trench profiles had to be adapted to the rough terrain, hard rock, and harsh weather conditions.
Many trench systems were constructed within glaciers such as the Adamello-Presanella group or the famous city below the ice on the Marmolada in the Dolomites.
Trench defensive systems[ edit ] Very early in the war, British defensive doctrine suggested a main trench system of three parallel lines, interconnected by communications trenches. The point at which a communications trench intersected the front trench was of critical importance, and it was usually heavily fortified.
The front trench was lightly garrisoned and typically only occupied in force during "stand to" at dawn and dusk. This defensive layout was soon rendered obsolete as the power of artillery grew; however, in certain sectors of the front, the support trench was maintained as a decoy to attract the enemy bombardment away from the front and reserve lines.
Fires were lit in the support line to make it appear inhabited and any damage done immediately repaired. Aerial view of opposing trench lines between Loos and Hulluch, July German trenches at the right and bottom, British at the top-left.
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Temporary trenches were also built. When a major attack was planned, assembly trenches would be dug near the front trench. These were used to provide a sheltered place for the waves of attacking troops who would follow the first waves leaving from the front trench. They fulfilled a variety of purposes, such as connecting the front trench to a listening post close to the enemy wire or providing an advance "jumping-off" line for a surprise attack.
When one side's front line bulged towards the opposition, a salient was formed. The concave trench line facing the salient was called a "re-entrant. Behind the front system of trenches there were usually at least two more partially prepared trench systems, kilometres to the rear, ready to be occupied in the event of a retreat.
The Germans often prepared multiple redundant trench systems; in their Somme front featured two complete trench systems, one kilometre apart, with a third partially completed system a further kilometre behind. This duplication made a decisive breakthrough virtually impossible. In the event that a section of the first trench system was captured, a "switch" trench would be dug to connect the second trench system to the still-held section of the first.
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The Germans, who had based their knowledge on studies of the Russo-Japanese War made something of a science out of designing and constructing defensive works. They used reinforced concrete to construct deep, shell-proof, ventilated dugouts, as well as strategic strongpoints. They were more willing than their opponents to make a strategic withdrawal to a superior prepared defensive position. They were also the first to apply the concept of "defence in depth", where the front-line zone was hundreds of metres deep and contained a series of redoubts rather than a continuous trench.
Each redoubt could provide supporting fire to its neighbours, and while the attackers had freedom of movement between the redoubts, they would be subjected to withering enfilade fire. The British eventually adopted a similar approach, but it was incompletely implemented when the Germans launched the Spring Offensive and proved disastrously ineffective.
France, by contrast, relied on artillery and reserves, not entrenchment. Trenches were never straight but were dug in a zigzagging or stepped pattern, with all straight sections generally kept less than a dozen meters yards. Later, this evolved to have the combat trenches broken into distinct fire bays connected by traverses. While this isolated the view of friendly soldiers along their own trench, this ensured the entire trench could not be enfiladed if the enemy gained access at any one point; or if a bomb, grenade, or shell landed in the trench, the blast could not travel far.
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The banked earth on the lip of the trench facing the enemy was called the parapet and had a fire step. The embanked rear lip of the trench was called the parados. The parados protected the soldier's back from shells falling behind the trench. The sides of the trench were often revetted with sandbagswire meshwooden frames and sometimes roofs. The floor of the trench was usually covered by wooden duckboards.
In later designs the floor might be raised on a wooden frame to provide a drainage channel underneath. Dugouts of varying degrees of comfort would be built in the rear of the support trench. British dugouts were usually 2. Australian light horseman using a periscope rifleGallipoli To allow a soldier to see out of the trench without exposing his head, a loophole could be built into the parapet. A loophole might simply be a gap in the sandbags, or it might be fitted with a steel plate.
German snipers used armour-piercing bullets that allowed them to penetrate loopholes.
Another means to see over the parapet was the trench periscope — in its simplest form, just a stick with two angled pieces of mirror at the top and bottom. We went first and by testing our ideas and we learned how effective these methods were.
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There is a resonating passage in the New Testament from Jesus Christ. This concept of taking responsibility is one I have learned to prioritize in my relationships and problematic situations. Not always successful in doing going first, it still has been a huge reason for my growth in life. There are key moments in my journey where people who led by example set a precedent which inspired me grow into a better leader.
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Trench warfare - Wikipedia
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